I searched the room, scanning for objects of interest or anything that contained a memory from my childhood. There was the old teddy bears, pictures of me with a large gap in my teeth and a halo of ringlets, old ornaments, but what struck me the most were the books. I’m a literature geek – I always have been. The bookshelf was thin and made up of deep shelves, as I glanced at it I noticed the bottom shelves were filled with childhood books and the top shelves were filled with more recent reads. The bottom shelves grabbed me the most. My heart rate increased rapidly as my mind drifted back through the last decade.

I thought about the child I used to be, then the pre-teen, followed by those dreaded teenage years, which brought me to now, seventeen. In eight months I’m going to be packing, leaving this house that is filled with my belongings to study in an unknown place with new people. It’s scary, I’m filled with fear.

Many of us feel this way, reflective of life, wishing it was possible to go back in time, to just experience something one more time, or maybe to change something. Even though life hasn’t always gone my way I realise that out of the all the decisions I made I probably wouldn’t have changed anything. Each little decision has affected me. Some for the worse. Some for the better. Each decision has made me who I am today; strong. I’m proud of who I’ve become. Of course, I worry and at times wish I could be someone totally different. Someone who gets straight A’s and fits society’s vision of perfect. However, I don’t so I have to accept that and I am certainly learning.

University is my next step. University gives us a fresh start, we can re-invent ourselves in front of a whole new set of people and generally move on with our lives, focusing on that one subject we are passionate about. At least, this is what I keep reminding myself, it will be good. I will be out of my comfort zone but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

My childhood is pretty much over so it’s time to grow up, right? I constantly doubt myself, my opinions and decisions but I know I really shouldn’t. Doubting is part of human nature and in times like these, stuck between past and future, it’s going to occur the most. Could we have changed something? Is this the right move? Could I have done more?

Now, I touch the collection of Jacqueline Wilson books, treating them with care as if they are precious jewels or diamonds. I notice the paint on some of them, dating back to rooms that have been re-painted a more suitable colour. I notice broken spines and small wrinkles or tears. My childhood was a journey and these books look as though they also had to endure it. One thing that startles me is that one of the hardcovers has the dust cover on wrong. It’s upside down. For years, it’s been standing proudly on a shelf with an upside down dust cover. It may sound ridiculous but it proved to me that I do not want to be left behind. I need to keep up. I need to move on. My dust cover is placed correctly and It’s going to stay that way.

So for those of you who are unsure of something, take the leap. For those of you in doubt, it’s ok, you are you, be proud. Be strong.